Ian Quinn is the founder of multinational company Quinn Worldwide. Using his wealth, connections and well-mannered and respectful public persona, Quinn supports the motives and actions of dangerous groups such as the Centipede Group, perhaps even HYDRA.
When first encountered in "The Asset", Quinn seems egotistical, but respectful of his opponents' strengths and capabilities, and inclined to 'play fair'. However, in "Seeds" he is shown to be supporting incredibly dangerous and subversive activities within S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, and states that "The Clairvoyant told me to say hello".
His later appearances are in marked contrast to this early confidence, since he seems to follow the Clairvoyant's orders without daring to question, even when they run counter to his own desires and instincts, as when he shoots Skye.
He went to the University of Cambridge, and one of his classmates was Franklin Hall. He has since made an immense fortune in business, and appears to view himself, and his Maltese hideaway, as untouchable. However, Dr. Hall claims Quinn got rich off the ideas he stole from Hall.
He has been warned by Agent Coulson to avoid the airspace, as well as the land, of any nation which recognizes S.H.I.E.L.D. jurisdiction, as Coulson has said he will shoot Quinn's plane down, given the opportunity.
In "The Asset", Quinn builds a Gravity Field Generator, after spending years searching the world for enough gravitonium, and kidnaps Dr. Hall in order to force him to find a way to control the generator's raw power. However, Coulson's team invades his compound in an attempt to rescue Dr. Hall, but Dr. Hall decides to destroy himself and the generator, believing no one should have this technology. Quinn escapes via helicopter as he watches his island hideout be torn apart by gravity shifts.
In "Seeds", Coulson's team heads to S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy (Science Division) to investigate a case of spontaneous and rapid freezing. It is later discovered that two students at the academy, Donald Gill and Seth Dormer, have built the freezing machines, and Quinn has been secretly funding their research and providing them with the materials they needed to build their machines. Furthermore, Seth's father is a lawyer for Quinn Worldwide which could explain how Quinn and the boys met. However, the machines Coulson's team have encountered so far had only been prototypes for a much bigger and much more powerful device that Seth and Donnie were planning to sell to Quinn. After Seth tells Quinn S.H.I.E.L.D. knew they were the ones behind the freezing incidents and are after them, Quinn turns his private plane around and chooses not to buy their machine. However, this doesn't stop them from activating their machine, in order to demonstrate it to Quinn and in hopes of changing his mind, which creates a super-storm over the academy.
In "T.R.A.C.K.S.", Couslon explains to the team that Quinn has just bought an unknown package from Cybertek technologies and the package is being transported through Italy via train. After a shootout on the train between the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the Cybertek security team, Skye and Fitz follow the villains to a secluded mansion where Quinn is waiting ready to receive his package. Skye learns that the package is a high-tech prosthetic leg for Mike Peterson, who lost his left leg in a prior explosion and is now working for Centipede. After the prosthetic leg attaches to Mike, Quinn shoots Skye, apparently as directed by the Clairvoyant. As Quinn is about to leave, Coulson and the others arrive and arrest Quinn.
In "T.A.H.I.T.I.", Couslon and Agent Garret interrogate Quinn, but when they ask him why he shot Skye he simply says "because the Clairvoyant told me to" and how he learned the hard way what happens when you disobey the Clairvoyant. However, it is later discovered that the Clairvoyant told Quinn to shoot Skye to learn how Couslon was brought back from the dead. Furthermore, Quinn hints at the Clairvoyant is how he's been able to stay a step ahead of S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of episode, Agent Garret takes Quinn to the Fridge.
In "Providence", Garret breaks Quinn out of the Fridge and reveals to him that he was the Clairvoyant all along. Quinn is at first furious about being lied to and being imprisoned, but Quinn's mood changes when Garret presents Quinn with a gift in the form of the Gravitonium S.H.I.E.L.D. confiscated from him in "The Asset".
In "Ragtag", Quinn explains to Ward how he's been dismissed of all charges and is no longer a wanted a fugitive; all of the crimes Quinn had previously been accused of were investigated by S.H.I.E.L.D. and since S.H.I.E.L.D. had been labeled a terrorist organization, as far as the public knows, Quinn was framed by S.H.I.E.L.D. for crimes he didn't commit. At the end of the episode, Quinn is seen in Washington, D.C. having a meeting with two decorated military officials. Quinn is proposing a business deal with them in which Cybertek supplies the U.S. government with an army of Deathlok super-soldiers.
In "Beginning of the End", Quinn gives a tour of a Cybertek facility to a group of high ranking military officials, trying to convince them to invest in Cybertek. Quinn explains to them how Cybertek can replace everyone of their average soldiers withb one of Cybertek's Deathlok super-soldier if the U.S. military invests with Cybertek. However, the tour is interrupted when Quinn and the others hear the sound of Coulson and his team breaking into the facility. Furthermore, Garret comes barging in claiming that they don't need their help and to demonstrate his power Garret kills one of the generals present with his bare hands as Quinn and the other watch in terror.
Realizing Garrett has gone mad, Quinn is last seen fleeing the facility with Raina and the Gravitonium. In the season 5 episode "Inside Voices" it is revealed via flashback that during the escape Raina intentionally exposed Quinn to the Gravitonium and it absorbed him.
- "The Asset"
- "Nothing Personal" (mentioned)
- "Beginning of the End"
- "Inside Voices"